The UKCAT is a set of aptitude tests designed to assess a range of mental abilities, attributes and professional behaviours required for a new doctor and dentist to be successful in their clinical career. The test does not have a specific syllabus or curriculum that can be revised, but it is important to be familiar with the format and type of questions. An individual can only sit the test once per year. To sit the test again an application to University would have to be made in the next admission year.
The UKCAT is a computer-based test delivered over 2 hours. The test consists of 5 subtests in a multiple-choice format and are separately timed. The subtests are:
- Verbal reasoning - assesses candidates' ability to read and think logically about information presented in passages before arriving at a conclusion.
- Quantitative reasoning - assesses candidates' ability to solve numerical problems.
- Abstract reasoning - assesses candidates' ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes.
- Decision analysis - assesses candidates' ability to decipher and make decisions with ambiguous information.
- Non-cognitive analysis - identifies key attributes and characteristics that may contribute to a successful health professional career.
|Time ||22 minutes |
|Structure ||11 passages, 4 statements per passage |
This subtest assesses a candidates' ability to read and clearly understand what is communicated through a short written passage. The key is to rely on the information presented and not on what may already known or assume what the text is saying. The key is to make a judgement on whether or not the statement follows logically from the information presented in the passage. For each statement there are 3 answer options:
- True - the statement is true or logically follows the passage.
- False - the statement is false.
- Can't tell - can't tell if the statement is true or false.
|Time ||22 minutes |
|Structure ||10 tables, charts or graphs, 4 tests per question |
This subtest assesses a candidates' ability to solve numerical problems. The assumption is that candidates are familiar with numbers and have received a good pass at GCSE. Problems are solved by extracting relevant information from tables, charts or graphs. The key is knowing what information to use and how to manipulate it using simple calculations and ratios. It measures reasoning using numbers, rather than testing mathematical ability.
For each test item, there are 5 answer options to choose from. The best option needs to be chosen.
A calculator is available for use in this subtest.
|Time ||16 minutes |
|Structure ||13 pairs of Set A & B, 5 items per pair |
This subtest assesses a candidates' ability to identify patterns amongst abstracted shapes. Test items can include irrelevant and distracting material which can lead to unsatisfactory solutions. Therefore the test measures an ability to track change, critically evaluate and generate a hypothesis.
You will be presented with 2 sets of shapes, Set A and Set B. Set A will share something in common and Set B will share something in common. None of the boxes in Set A will share whatever is in common in Set B and vice versa. The key is to think of the possible things that a set can share in common.
For each pair of Set A and Set B there will be 5 test shapes. A decision as to whether each test shape belongs to Set A, Set B or neither needs to be made.
|Time ||30 minutes |
|Structure ||26 items related to 1 scenario |
This subtest assesses a candidates' ability to decipher code and make decisions which are best fit when you aren't given precisely the information you need. They key is to decipher the code and write down the words represented by the numbers or letters in brackets. Numbers that appear next to each other implies a close relationship, whereas a space implies they aren't closely related. A letter outside the brackets will apply to everything inside the brackets. With the code deciphered, try to make a sensible sentence or phrase from it. If a sentence or phase is identical to one of the answers listed, then this is likely to be the correct answer.
You will be presented with 26 items related to 1 scenario. Each item may have 4 or 5 possible answers.
A series of questions are presented to analyse personal characteristics required to have a successful health professional career. Some questions will be statements which ask candidates' to describe themselves by indicating the level or truth or falsity in each statement. Other questions will ask people to describe how they cope with stresses and assess how truthful and honest they have been.